Since the 1950s Liberian Track Athletes have always participated in World Track & Field events. The 60s brought us top performing athletes like Dosumo Johnson (Shot Put), and Dunstan Macauley Sr. (Hammer Throw). The 1970s saw magnificent performances from Thomas Howe (800m) and Ford Dennis (Long Jump). The 1980s brought us Samuel Sarkpa (400m). In the early to mid 90s we saw top performances from athletes like Oliver Daniels (100m, 200m) and Gracie Dinkins 100, 200m.
No time was the performance of Liberian track athletes more prevalent than the late 1990s. From 1994 to 1996 Liberian Track & field experience a burst of top talents, from high schools in the United States. The late 90s brought in names like Sayon Cooper and Robert Dennis, High School State Champions in Maryland, Edward Neufville, High School State Champion in South Carolina and Kouty Mawenh, High School State Champion in Michigan.
Sayon, Robert, Eddie, Kouty and Grace would write a new chapter in the long history of Liberian Track and field. In 1996 the five athletes along with Lelica Zazaboi, a young shot putter, headed to Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the 1996 Olympic Games. That year the Liberian track & field federation and the Liberian National Olympic Committee were going through some difficult leadership changes. Therefore, the 1996 Olympic experience was a mental and physical challenge for the athletes. Nevertheless, the Liberian Flag was proudly flown in front of billions of TV viewers around the world.
After their 1996 Olympics experience the 5 athletes committed to making sure the Liberian track & Field federation, and the Liberian National Olympic Committee remained organized and focused on the basic needs of all local and foreign based track athletes. They led efforts to develop the sport in Liberia and recruit talented Liberian athletes in the United States and Europe. Their recruiting efforts led to a new breed of talented Liberia athletes. The new wave brought in Joetta Dweh (800m), Robert True (800m), Jocelyn Harris (400m), Hannah Cooper (Hurdles), Paul Sehzue (Hurdles), Andrew Reyes (4x100m) and Koiyan Morlu (4x100m), all of whom participated in either the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain or the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia.
Liberian track athletes have come a long way in the competitive arena. In the 80s Liberian athletes ran times like 10.7s in the 100m, 21.7 in the 200m, 42.5 in 4x100 relay, 15.0 in the 110 hurdles, and 1:54 in the 800m. The 90s and 2000 brought tremendous improvements like 10.15 100m, 20.5 200m, 39.77 4x100m (men's events), 13.26 in the women's 100m hurdles, 13.85men's 110m hurdles, 53.0 400m hurdles and 1:46 800m, 23 sec women's 200 and 51 seconds women's 400m.
Today, the dream of those 5 athletes is alive and well as they have strengthened their organizational structure. They are collaborating with the Liberian Track & Field Federation and the Liberian National Olympic Committee to make sure the young athletes have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the world scene.